A pensioner was in a serious condition in hospital last night following a crash involving a fully-loaded recycling lorry on a busy dual carriageway.
Firefighters had to cut the elderly man, believed to be in his 80s, free from his car after the smash on the A38.
He was taken to hospital with serious neck injuries.
The horrific crash unfolded shortly before 1.50pm when a Mercedes HGV was involved in a collision with a red Rover 420i car on the A38 near the Manadon flyover at Plymouth.
The incident happened on the eastbound carriageway on the busy main route through the Westcountry.
The road was partially closed while road crash investigators tried to establish what happened. Eye-witnesses said emergency crews had to cut the roof from the Rover.
The elderly man was the only person in the car.
Three fire crews were joined by at least two ambulances at the scene of the smash, onlookers said.
A police spokesman described the HGV driver as "walking wounded".
Acting Sergeant Ryan Canning said: "At the moment it appears that the HGV has collided with the back of the Rover causing them both to leave the carriageway.
"I appeal for anyone who saw the crash to contact the serious collisions unit."
Another HGV narrowly missed crashing into the car and lorry, coming to rest at a 45 degree angle.
Scores of motorists were caught in long tailbacks which stretched as far as the St Budeaux off-slip into that area of Plymouth and diversions were in place.
Lane one of the stretch was re-opened at about 4.10pm.
A police spokesman said the injured man had suffered "serious" injuries in the smash.
She described how he had suffered a "significant neck injury".
Last night, he was expected to undergo an operation.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact them on 101 quoting log 0329.